Employers Hub | Most important trait amongst your sales team

When it comes to the most important trait in salespeople, almost every sales manager I speak with puts accountability at the top of their list.

This has been exacerbated by COVID-19, which allows sales teams to work remotely, away from management scrutiny. Am I hiring someone who will take responsibility for a problem or issue or someone who will avoid it? When no one is looking or keeping track, what kind of behaviour will we see?

So, how do you find candidates with this skillset and how do you assess this in an interview?

I want to get a sense of responsibility for the problems they’ve encountered as well as an acceptance of the fact that the world isn’t flawless. I’m looking for a mindset that says, “How I responded and controlled these challenges, not the situations themselves, define me.” Is there a sense of invulnerability or motivation to own an issue and take on the challenge?

Accountability and grit go hand in hand, and they’re both partly innate and partly developed, like other attributes. For example, the candidate who started their own business or worked in a commission-only sales position early in their career stands out to me since there is clear accountability on paper. It denotes someone who thrives on a challenge and is forced to hold responsibility.

On the other side, a candidate who has worked for a large vendor for ten years or more and has a long career may have become “institutionalised” and picked up negative behaviours over time. Of course, no assumptions should be made, but it’s critical to gain context and ask situational questions to learn about their reason for their own issues.

In the modern sales environment, accountability for problem-solving, personal results, and owning a sales cycle sets your team up for success. 

 

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